On careful consideration of the problems highlighted in previous pages, the Government of Odisha issued a new policy on procurement and trade of NTFP in their Resolution No.5503/ F&E dated 31st March, 2000.According to this policy, Gram Panchayats have been authorized to regulate the purchase, procurement and trade of NTFPs including 68 items of MFPs so that the primary gatherers get fair price for the NTFP gathered by them. The policy resolution contains a list of 60 items of NTFP in the Annexure - A, & items including the seeds of various NTFP species in its Annexure - B and 9 restricted items of NTFP in Para 4 (B) of the resolution.
Under the policy, any person desirous of purchasing NTFP from primary gatherers or trading in NTFP so purchased shall undertake the trade after registration with the Gram panchayat concerned on payment of registration fee fixed by the Gram panchayat. The Government in respect of any NTFP items shall grant no lease nor shall it levy any royalty on these items. No Transit permit will be required for transport of any NTFP items within the state. Other than 68 items of the NTFP listed in Annexure - A and B of the policy resolution 2,000, collection and trading of 9 restricted items listen in Para 4 (b) of the resolution require permission from the Government of Odisha.
In order to ensure the payment of fair procurement prices of the NTFP to the primary gatherers, Government of Odisha on 12th October 2001 has brought out a resolution (No.16467/F&E dated 12.10.2001) relating to price fixation mechanism of the NTFP .The resolution came out as a modification over the earlier notification dated 9th July 2001 (Notification No.20665/SSD) through which the existing state level price fixation committee was dissolved and instead a system of price fixation at the district level has been introduced. The resolution says that the District Collector is empowered to fix the minimum procurement prices with respect to all the NTFP items including 68 Minor Forest Products. In this regard District Collector shall consult DFO (Territorial), District Panchayat Officer, District Welfare Officer, Local representative of TRIFED, the local representative of the Odisha Forest Development Corporation Ltd. and the local representative of the Women and Child Development Department. Although the above changes made are quite encouraging, it is too early to assess its efficacy for which it has been made.